Designed by Robert Harris, this 25′ blue water pocket cruiser is the perfect boat for our life style. It is small enough to easily sail solo, inexpensive to store, sturdy enough for foul weather, with ample storage and convenience for living on board.
The Vancouver 25 was highlighted in a 1983 issue of Sailing Canada with a feature article of which I adapted:
” Robert Harris is well known for his blue water cruising boats. The Vancouver 25 was built to be an optimal solution for the sailor who was looking for a pocket cruiser that could go anywhere. The world is full of 25 footers but few of them will ever leave the bay simply because they do not have the strength, quality, sea-worthiness and accommodation to carry a family across the oceans. Compared to other pocket cruisers, the Vancouver 25 has a bit more volume, a well thought out accommodation plan, a comfortable place to sit down and eat, a low aspect ratio yet powerful sail plan with a battenless mainsail for good longevity and ease of reefing, a cockpit companionway hood giving excellent protection for the helmsman who can sit forward right under it while still having his hand on the tiller, a boom gallows that means business, a stern anchor roller chock on the boomkin for running out the stern kedge, two opening ports each side in the cabin trunk for good ventilation plus dorades and a large hatch forward. The Vancouver 25 also shows a well-equipped galley for such a small boat and complete privacy for the forward sleeping area with a head in between which can be closed off and boosts a 6’2″ standing room throughout the cabin. Teak and holly floors include wooden grates in the head and wet locker area. Louvered vents are included in all cabinets and doors adding ventilation.
Rainbow has been custom designed to provide not only the standard pilot single quarter berth, but also a double berth when the dinette table is lowered for added sleeping quarters. Most standard Vancouver 25s have bench seating, a drop down table and a navigation table to the side. Rainbow’s dinette arrangement can double as a more comfortable navigation table. Ample storage is available under and in back of the seats and the quarter berth can be used for sail storage, extra gear for long passages for one or two people as the boat is intended. The interior is finished with teak trim and pine paneling. All paneling in the way of the engine (Rainbow has a Yanmar 8 HP) is easily removable and exposes the entire engine for accessible service. The long keel with its trailing end sloped up to protect the rudder and an easily sloped leading edge gives maximum protection should she come up against a coral head and provide very good directional stability under all points of sail. Harris stated in his book that the Vancouver 25 resulted in a cost too high for the US market and production was stopped after a dozen boats were delivered. Specifications: LOA: 25′ – LWL: 21′ 8″ – Beam: 8′ 6″ – Draft: 3′ 10″ – Displacement: 7300 lbs – Ballast: 2600 lbs – Hull: Fiberglass – Type: Sloop – Sail Area: 318 sq ft – Fresh Water Tank: 40 Gallons – Fuel Tank: 20 Gallons – Engine: 8HP Yanmar – Cruising Speed: 6-7 knots – Year Built: 1984 – Place Built: Kaohsiung Taiwan – Builder: Victor Yacht Company – Designer: Bob Harris, Vancouver Yachts Inc. -“
Mr. Harris later published a book titled “Tracks on the Water, First Book Choice, 2008″ where he fondly wrote about the Vancouver 25: BobHarrisVancouverDesigner.
Through extensive research, I found reference to
twenty-one (39 as of January 2017), but have been told by an original owner that there were 40 Vancouver 25’s in existence, although in private conversations with Mr. Harris, he is only aware of about 12-18 built. His theory for the additional boats, is that after the production ceased at Victory Yacht Company, in Kaoshsiung, Taiwan, any remaining molds were purchased by other yacht builders and introduced later into North America. These yachts, had serials numbers which were quite different than the original Victory built boats who carry serials numbers starting with OYI for Victory Yacht Company. For instance, Rainbow is OYI (for Victory) 25 (for 25′) 015 (15th boat built) and 0284 (built in February, 1984). Most of these original series can be easily identified by a straight traveler, where other later models have a curved traveler.
There are many variations to the interior design of these boats. Rainbow is the only one I found with a dinette table design. The others all have a bench against the port side with a drop down table from the wall, although I now know of a design from 1985, although not sure if it was built, with the layout of settees on each side of the main cabin with the galley in the starboard aft corner. I have been offered this blueprint and will add to the site, once received. Variations of cabinet designs were also added. Many of these boats were pre-ordered with an individual custom design.
They all came with a Foo Dog (half dog, half lion) above the tiller. In Asian culture a Foo Dog signifies good luck!
Many Vancouver 25s also have a bronze plaque (although Bob Harris did not know such existed) with the boat type and designer’s name. From what I can tell, the original OYI Hull Numbers (including our Rainbow) do not have the bronze plaque but most, if not all of the others, have it.
Original drawings for Beguine (Rainbow) are found in this document: DrawingsBeguineRainbow. Further modifications were made from the drawings as the bank of drawers to the right of the sink in the galley were removed, allowing additional space for crawling in and out of the pilot’s berth.
In 2011, Nick Hiscock wrote an article on the Vancouver designs. Obtaining most of his information from Northshore Yachts, I was surprised that he stated the Vancouver 25s were mostly cutter rigged. Any I found have all been sloops. The author also states that 80 vessels were built. Since the Vancouver 25s were never built by Northshore and Hiscock claims molds were destroyed in a fire in Vancouver, I believe the boats he speaks of are being confused with the Vancouver 27. If I hadn’t spoken with Bob Harris myself, I might not have doubted the validity of the information.
A Facebook group for those interested in Vancouver 25’s, is at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/105394892884873/
A selection of pictures of Rainbow.